Hornak's big 3-pointers lift Knights to 78-67 win at RIT
Rochester, NY – Two Matthew Hornak 3-pointers late in the second half turned a two-point lead into an eight-point advantage as the Clarkson University Men's Basketball team held off RIT 78-67 in Liberty League action Friday night.
The Golden Knights won their third straight conference game to improve to 5-7 in league games and 9-10 overall, while RIT fell to 8-11 overall and 6-6 in league games. Clarkson will face first-place Hobart on Saturday afternoon in hopes of further improving its standing in the conference.For the first nine minutes of the game, the two teams battled back and forth with RIT nudging out to a three-point lead 16-13. However, the Tigers would go cold and Clarkson rattled off 16 straight points over the next six minutes thanks to 3-pointers from Joe Lucas, Liam Ellis, and Matt Higgins. Two more Higgins free throws capped off the run and put the Knights up by 13, the same margin that would separate the two teams at the break.
Hornak put Clarkson up by 19 points just two minutes into the second half when he sunk a 3-pointer, and the Knights would still enjoy a commanding 15-point advantage six minutes later. Any hopes of a runaway win for Clarkson would be quelled quickly, though, as the Tigers rolled off 10 points in just two minutes, punctuated by a Will Atkinson 3-pointer at the 10:02 mark. Less than four minutes later, RIT was within two when Troy Pierre-Louis made a pair of free throws to make the score 58-56. On the next two possessions, Hornak would deliver with back-to-back 3-pointers to put Clarkson up by eight with 5:42 to go, and though RIT was within seven on a couple of occasions, the Tigers never challenged the Knights for the remainder of the game.
Hornak went 4-for-6 from beyond the 3-point arc for 14 points, but it was Liam Ellis who would enjoy another standout game for the Knights. Ellis scored a game-high 29 points, shooting 11-for-20 from the floor, and added in seven assists. Matt Higgins tossed in 15 points and contributed three blocks, and Gary Hanley recorded a double-double with 11 points and 16 rebounds, including six on the offensive end.
For RIT, Troy Pierre-Louis scored 18 points and dished out eight assists, while both Robert Aguilera and Anthony Lewis tossed in 11 points.